A total of 37 people, ranging from 13 months to 83-years-old, turned out to complete the walk, alongside 10 dogs. The gates have made the route far more accessible to walkers. The afternoon was rounded off with refreshments at the Village Hall.
The Isle of Wight Ramblers and the Isle of Wight Council Rights of Way department, supported by the local National Trust, have established the footpath ‘Donate a Gate’ scheme. Suitable stretches of footpath are identified to be wholly converted to gates in order to improve the access to the countryside for those people who cannot easily negotiate stiles. The gates can incorporate an engraved commemorative plaque.
Chillerton and Gatcombe Parish Council funded 2 of the gates and 2 were funded by local residents.
Cllr Gillian Belben, Chairman of the Parish Council has said:
“These gates will make a big difference to the community, both young and old. Our thanks go to the two donors, Jill Luscombe and Sally Cardew, National Trust volunteer John Hague, Derek Baty of the Ramblers who mounted the plaques, Neil Holland who installed the gates and the local landowners for helping this to happen”.